Photo: Jacques Boissinot Archives The canadian Press
Marco Bélair-Cirino and
in Quebec city
The financial year 2020-2021 will result in a deficit of “history” of $ 14.9 billion, provides for the minister of Finance, Eric Girard, three months after the beginning of the health crisis caused by the “cursed virus” of the COVID-19.
The stabilization reserve will be able to pass in full, we read in the portrait of the financial situation of the Québec introduced by the minister on Friday. More than 800 000 workers have lost their jobs because of the pandemic.
The budgetary impact of the health crisis totals more than $ 6.6 billion.
The quebec government will spend this year $ 3.7 billion to ” strengthen the health system “, which is highly required during the health crisis. Of this amount, not less than 2.38 billion will be spent in the purchase of equipment and 878 million will be paid to health workers to “recognize the extra effort” they have made.
The government has also set aside $ 2 billion to mitigate the impact of the pandemic on the economy, and about $ 1 billion to support workers and individuals.
On the other hand, Mr. Girard anticipating a decline in own-source revenue of the québec government $ 8.5 billion.
The elected caquiste has also set aside $ 4 billion in view of a possible second wave.
The many uncertainties associated with this second wave, ” the hope of a cure “, the possible discovery of a vaccine, the trade or the public health situation in neighbouring countries as many situations in which the minister of Finance has had to take into account. “There’s a lot of uncertainty attached to these estimates “, he warned. “We give you the best estimate that is possible. “
The government is aiming for a return to a balanced budget within five years. The achievement of this objective will not be to the detriment of public services or by an increase in the tax burden of Quebecers, supported by Mr. Girard. “It is a commitment of our government. […] The Québécois are already sufficiently taxed “, he ruled.
The electoral promises of the CAQ should not be affected by the pandemic, stated the minister. Not more than the credit rating of Quebec. “No agency of credit does not give us a negative outlook. Therefore, said more positively, we have a stable outlook with all agencies and credit rating, ” said Mr. Girard.
Economic shock an ” unprecedented scale “.
The measures taken to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus have forced the “pause” of nearly 40 % of Quebec’s economy at the end of last march.
Some 820 500 people were without employment. The unemployment rate jumped to 4.5 % (February) to 17 % (April), to decrease to 13.7 % (may), after the re-opening of some sectors of the economy.
“The conditions should continue to improve by the end of the year, but all of the jobs will not come back,” warned the minister Girard in point of press. “Some sectors, such as tourism, air transport or retail trade are likely to suffer the consequences of the pandemic in the longer term, he added.
The impact on the economy of these “temporary disruptions” will be important. The minister of Finance anticipates now a contraction of the real gross domestic Product from 6.5% in 2020. Last march, he called for a growth of 2 %. The government caquiste has the ambition to find by December 2021 the production level of December 2019.
“The last few months have not been easy, and we still have a lot of work to do, but I am convinced that we will be able to prepare an “after COVID-19″, where Quebec and its economy will regain the vitality and dynamism that characterized it a few weeks ago, ” said Mr. Girard.